5 Reasons That a Student Job Abroad is Better Than One at Home
Summer is fast approaching and your bank balance has made it clear you that you need a summer job. After some research there are two distinct options. You can choose to stay local and work at home or take the leap and go for a student job abroad.
Going for a job overseas might sound a bit scarier but with sunshine, travel and the opportunity to do something really cool, it’s not hard to see why it’s the better option. People are choosing to go and work abroad more than ever. In fact, the number of young people going to work abroad has actually doubled in the past 5 years.
In this blog, we wanted to look beyond the obvious reasons for going to work abroad and give some solid facts and persuasive stats, which will help you get off the fence and start booking your tickets to have a summer to remember.
1. Shows Your Independence
The first step to gaining independence is to decide to go and work abroad. By choosing to go and do something different, you’re already making the active choice to push your comfort zone. Independence is usually defined by taking control of your situation and not just accepting the flow. Coming away from your home comforts will naturally make you more independent.
When you choose to have a student job abroad rather than at home, it is definitely a more challenging experience. Living abroad will test you as you adapt to a new culture, find your feet and get into the flow of a different place.
The best thing about building independence when travelling, studying or starting a new job abroad, is that it happens naturally. You often don’t even realise that you’ve built independence or that you’ve grown as a person, it’s not like you’ve actively gone out to challenge these skills in particular, it just happens as part of your journey. You went out and did something new. You chose to go abroad, you picked somewhere new and had a completely different experience to other people who just stayed at home.
Interviewers are always looking for examples of times you’ve shown independence and times you took charge (of yourself or of a team). A study in 2014 by the European Commission showed 9 out of 10 employers are looking for people with the skills and traits that travelling and spending time abroad can develop. Having a student job abroad will give you countless examples to wow everyone in your next job interview.
2. Meet People from All Around the World
One of the best things about travelling is the people you meet along the way. People will define a place and a place will define its people.
When you work or study abroad, you open yourself up to meet new people. From locals to the people who have also travelled from around the world to work with you, you’ll be part of a diverse and culturally varied team, much more than if you worked a student job at home.
People who want to travel and work abroad also tend to be more driven and independent. They want to see more of the world and make the most of given opportunities. You can bet that you’ll be planning more adventures for your days off and post season with this group. Embrace meeting new people and learn from them. You’ll learn something new from every person you meet. It’s great to hear different people’s opinions and their ways of looking at the world. The more you meet people, the more you’ll be able to compare differences and find common ground. It’s surprising how many common beliefs we all share, despite our backgrounds or cultural upbringing.
Meeting new people is also a great way to flex your communication skills. The more people you meet and talk to, the better you’ll be at communicating, making small talk and even reading body language. The more times you introduce yourself to a new group of people, the less intimidating it becomes. You’ll learn to read people better and almost ‘know your tribe’ - recognising others you know you’ll get along with and also identifying people you might not.
3. You’ll Be Able to Travel
Working and living in another country is a great way to travel. On days off, evenings and weekends… go and explore. See the local sites or even hop on a plane for a weekend further afield. The options are endless.
When you take a student job abroad rather than a job at home, you’ll be able to live in some pretty exciting locations. Explore new cities, see famous landmarks, visit natural wonders and wander new terrains. You can never see too much of the world.
Choose a location to work which excites you. From summer camps in North America, to ski seasons in New Zealand or even becoming a camp counsellor in China - the country you choose to work in is going to have an influence on your experience.
Travel also is proven to significantly reduce stress and increase life expectancy. When you’re trying to earn money in the holidays, choose a job which you’ll enjoy. Think of the change in climate, the different pace of life and things to do at the weekend.
4. Experience a Different Culture
Broaden your mind by experiencing a new place and meeting new people. When you work abroad you’ll experience a country and its culture on a deeper level. Living in a new place will naturally build your cultural awareness, as you find yourself around people who have a completely different background to your own.
By having a student job abroad, you’ll be able to meet the locals, learn the language, know what to buy in the corner shop and where to look for the best deals. It’s a great chance to experience a place away from the tourist traps and live like a local.
Cultural understanding is an amazing attribute, something you won’t gain by working at home in your local leisure centre. Having a student job abroad is a great way to see things from a different perspective and to learn from each other.
You’ll also discover your own culture. Things that you took for granted, customs or traditions that you didn’t even think were different, will come to light. For us Brits, when you talk about something from home, a celebration like Bonfire night, or when you’re craving a roast dinner on a Sunday - you’ll learn that these are specific to you.
It’s so interesting to see how others view you and where you come from. If you match the stereotypes or even what the stereotypes are. It's great to see your culture through someone else's eyes. More and more businesses are looking at global communication and cultural understanding as they move forward into the 21st century.
5. It Gives You the Edge
Job interviews are always tough, especially when you know you’re up against someone else with exactly the same degree and skill set. What will make you shine just that little bit brighter and let you come out on top? Having had a student job abroad. Employers are strong advocates for young people having gone out of their comfort zone, worked somewhere different and have challenged themselves in a new setting.
RealGap says: "In our experience employers are impressed by people who have taken a gap year or career break and this opinion seems to be growing, across the board.”
It’s popular opinion that working abroad makes you more culturally aware and people seem to be more confident and self assured. Having a student job abroad allows you to think creatively, you would’ve needed to be able to adjust to life in another country, from finding a place to live, to learning to communicate and even the daily commute. You’ll have grown as a person and will be more adept to coping with change.
In your job interview you’ll be able to call on experiences and real life examples that you perhaps wouldn’t be able to if you’d had a job at home. Coping with change? You’ve done that. Dealing with difficult situations? Yes. Was there a time when you were pushed out of your comfort zone? 100%. But best of all, for all those tough interview questions, you’ll have come out on top, you’ll be able to talk about overcoming the situation and put a really positive and interesting spin on the question.
“I would probably answer every question with an example of me working abroad, no matter the question there is always a way to link it” Imo Connett, social media graduate, laughed when we asked about her interview experience. “Time keeping? I always talk about flights, Organisation skills? - that’s easy, I just talk about having an itinerary and budgeting. But just the fact you’re out there or you’ve done it looks incredible to an employer.”
Ultimately, it will just make your CV stand out. Give yourself the edge and have fun while doing it.